In all modesty, it can be said that the Russian North begins at Vologda. Vologda lace and butter and the home of Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost) — Veliky Ustyug — are not the only things to see in this region. The ancient Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, wooden architecture, descendants of artisans, the ancient towns of Vologda Province and the town of Russian sailors — Totma, — this is the true treasure of Vologda, framed by the picturesque northern wilderness.
Vologda Oblast is mostly famous for its arts and crafts: Shemogodskaya elm carving, Severnaya Chern, Veliky Ustyug enamel and, of course, Vologda lace. This has been famous since the end of the 18th century. Vologda lace is distinguished by its open-work pattern reminding one of frosting on the window. Vologda lace is complex and fine and is well-known around the world; it has been exhibited in France, Switzerland and other countries.
Vologda Oblast has many rivers, lakes and swamps. The Russky Sever National Park is situated between three lakes and is famous for its forest and archaeological monuments. The Darwin state nature reserve is home to the rare white-tailed eagle.
The oldest town in the region is Belozersk mentioned in 862 in the Primary Chronicle. A thirty-meter high earthen fortress built on order of Grand Prince of Moscow Ivan III has been preserved. The beauty of Lake Beloye was captured in the film the Red Snowball Tree directed by Vasily Shukshin.
Totma is a town-museum dedicated to Russian sailors. Totma equipped 20 expeditions to America, a fifth of all known expeditions. One of the galiots that sailed to Alaska was named Totma. The black fox on the town's coat of arms and the cartouche on its churches symbolize the discoveries of the Totma sailors.
Veliky Ustyug is as old as Vologda and Moscow. In the 16th century, it was given the title Veliky (Great) for its role in developing trade in the Russian state. However, the town is well-known by... parents: since 1999, the town has been the home of Ded Moroz. Visitors come to see the country's Chief Magician all year round.Vologda butter is a generally recognized world-famous national brand. It is made to an old Russian recipe suggested by Nikolay Vereshchagin in the late 19th century. Vologda butter has a unique nutty taste, which is obtained by heating specially selected high-quality cream for 10-15 minutes up to 98 °С. Vologda butter has been known and loved by generations of Russian consumers.